Masters of the Mind - A Study of Vampiric Desire, Corruption, and Obsession in Polidori's The Vampyre, Coleridge's Christabel, and Le Fanu's Carmilla

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The aim of this thesis is to examine the establishment and the development of the relationship between the three main vampiric protagonists and their human victims in John William Polidori's The Vampyre (1819), Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla (1872), and Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Christabel (1816). This will be done by close reading the texts from a sociohistorical perspective and focusing on the characteristics and keywords of nineteenth-century vampire fiction, such as the analyses of frequently-occurring Gothic themes, the Byronic vampire, and the exploration of the vampire psyche. The three texts will respectively be divided into three chapters and each of the three chapters will be divided into an analysis of the main gothic elements, an analysis of the text, and an analysis on the development of the relationship between the vampire and the victim. These analyses will then be compared and contrasted in the conclusion. Through the comparison of the three texts, the conclusion will provide an answer to the vampire's power on a psychological level. Keywords: vampires, nineteenth century, close-reading, Byronic vampire, Gothic fiction.
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